Definition of Music under Copyright Act, 1957

Meaning of Copyright:-copyright is an exclusive right which gives protection to the owner of the work. It is a sole right given by law to the person who created, or owned original work, to print, to publish, or sale the copies of his original work where the copyright subsists. The object of the copyright is to encourage authors, artists, and composers to create original work.
The law of copyright gives protection to a vast area in which literary, artistic, dramatic and sound recording, and cinematographic work subsists.

No protection can be given in idea or mere form of work

There is no copyright subsists in ideas. But once it is written down, the writing is the subject of copyright and no one is entitled to copy it on the plea that it was only idea.

Mere form of a literary work or an artistic work is not a perfect condition for having copyright in that form of work. To copy the form of words, ideas, the times or incidents included in a work is not an infringement of copyright. It may be plagiarism, but plagiarism is not infringement of copyright.

What can be protected under literary work?
In Macmillan v. Cooper the court said that, it is the product of the labour, skill and capital of one man which must not be appropriated by another, not the elements, the raw materials., upon which the labour and skill and capital of first have been explained.

To secure copyright for the product, it is necessary that the labour, skill, and capital should be expended sufficiently to impart to the product some quality or character which the raw material did not posses, and which differentiates the product from the raw material. What is the precise amount of the knowledge, labour judgment or literary skill or taste which the author of any book or other compilation must bestow upon his composition in order to acquire copyright in it,cannot be defined in precise terms.

According to Blacklok v. Arthur Pearson 1915 2ch 376 railway time table:-a literary work need not be of literary quality. Even so prosaic a work as an index of railway stationers or a list of stock exchange

Quotations, qualities as a literary work, if sufficient effort has been expended in compiling it, to give it a new and original character.

What says article 2 (1) of the Berne convention
The expression literary and artistic works shall include every production in the literary, scientific, and artistic domain, whatever may be the mode or form of its expression, such as books, pamphlets and other writings, dramatic- musical works, choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show, musical compositions with or without words.

What is musical work?
According to section 2 p of the copyright law, copyright subsists in original musical work. Musical work means a work consisting of music and includes any graphical notation of such work, but does not include any word or any action, intended to be sung or spoken or performed with the music.

An original adaptation of a musical work is also entitled to copyright.
If a composer arranges music or decorates, develops, transfers to a different medium of a popular song as to make his arrangement fall within the description of an original musical work, such arrangements or adaptation is capable of attracting an independent copyright.
(Transcription) in relation to music is defined as an arrangement of a musical composition for some instrument or voice other than the original.

There is no copyright in a song such as because a song is not one of the types of work in which copyright subsists because a song has its words written by one man and sung by another man, and composed by another man. There are three separate copyrights possible in musical composition. They are words literary works, music-musical works, music words-musical words.
These are different in nature so that it cannot be merged. It follows that the song has no copyright.

According to Oxford Dictionary
An original musical work is defined as a work consisting of music, exclusive of any words or action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with the music. The definition of music is as given in Oxford English Dictionary is the art or science of combining vocal and / or instrumental sounds to produce beauty of form, harmony, melody, and rhythm expressive content etc
In Lawson v. Dundas (Ch D, 12 June 1985, unreported) the four bars of the channel 4 Signature were held to merit protection as a musical work-either the musical notes (as opposed to the words to a song) must be recorded in some final form or the music recorded.

The definition of music was considered in Sawkins v. Hyperion Records Ltd (2005) EWCA Civ 565. There it was found that the sound produced by the musicians when playing the musical score created by the claimant was influenced by the performing indications, tempo and performance practice indicators which he had added to his new edition of an old musical composition, and that his skill and effort in producing the new edition were sufficient to attract copyright protection.

If the melody and tune are not there, and the work is merely a composition giving expression it may be to a devotion of any other emotion, the work will not be a musical work, though it may be a literary work. Mere adaptation of a voice to an existing musical work does not make the work copyrightable.

A work may be a combination of both of dramatic and musical work, e.g. opera musical comedy, operettas or similar productions which are to be acted as well as sung.

Remix is a mixture of old songs, which contains old song with original work with some changes. The old song may be sung with the old musical composition or may incorporate a few changes therein. The song, as altered, is then recorded in a cassette or a compact disc.
In the world of technology composer remixes the old songs with adding some new masala in the song.

The song kaanta laga is a good illustration of remix version which is made from a melodious old song composed by one of Indias highly respected music director, Naushad.
In the film the song is sung by woman who is waiting for her lover to return.

The remix of this song become highly popular. Look, what they done to my song, lamented Naushad, when he heard and saw the kaanta laga remix version. The video remix shows, according to Naushad, near nude woman dancing. He lamented that it was such a melodious song and they have completely ruined it.

He is further reported to have said, I would rather not have the royalty money than have my compositions treated with such disrespect.

In Wood v. Boosey [1867] LR 2QB 340; [1868] LR 3 QB 233, decided before the Copyright Act of 1911, it was held that a piano reduction by Brissler of Nicolais opera, The merry wives of Winsor was an independent composition and attracted a separate copyright in the arrangement and that copyright in the piano reduction belonged to the arrange as author.
The elements of a ballet are the music, the story, the choreography, the scenery, and the costumes. It is thus a composite work. Such work could be the subject matter of copyright.

There seems to be no Indian decision as to what constitutes an arrangement of a musical work. The reported cases are all based on western which will have to be applied with care in relation to the Indian System of music which is substantially different from the Western system.
Here are so many examples of that songs which has been remixed, like:- kah du tumhe ya chup rhu dil me mere aaj kya hai famous song of Kishor Kumar, pardesia ye sach hai piya, song of Lata Mangeshkar, mere nasib me tu hai ki nahi tere nasib me main hu ki nahin again Lata Mangeshkar famous song these are the songs which are totally different of their original version.

It has been held that when a person makes a piano forte score of the music of anothers opera, he will be the Author of a new composition. Similarly if a person puts new words in a non-copyrighted melody or song it may constitute a new composition.
So that there is no copyright in a song as such because a song is not one of the types of work in which copyright subsists. In exceptional cases where its words and music are written by the same man he would own the copyright in the song. The position may be different in the case of a complicated work such as comprising musical and literary components such as an opera.
Author as defined in s.2 (d) in relation to a musical work is only the composer and s. 16 confines copyright to these works which are recognized by the Act. This means that the composer alone has copyright in musical work. The singer has none, although the major attraction which lends monetary value to a musical performance is not the music maker, so much as the musician.

Article 2 (1) of the Berne convention
Blacklok v. Arthur Pearson 1915 2ch 376 railway time table
Chappell v. Redwood music [1918] RPC 337 at p. 346(Lord Salmon, HL).
Halsburys Laws of England, 4th ed., vol. 9, Para 840
Intellectual property Law, Palgrave Macmillan Law Masters, Tina Hart, Linda Fazzani & Simon Clark
Intellectual property law by P.Narayan
Indian performing rights society v. Eastern India motion pictures association AIR 1977 SC1443 at p. 1453 (Krishna Iyer, J.)
Iyengar, Copyright Act and rules, (4th edition), p.82
Know your Copyright by G. D. Khosla, p.11
Lawson v. Dundas (ChD, 12 June 1985, unreported)
Leader v.Purday [1848] 7 CB 4.
Macmillan vs. cooper, AIR 1924 PC 75
Mrs Runa Mehta Thakur, Copyright in musical and Cinematograph works: How to judge it, Lecturer in Law (Gold Medalist) School of Legal Studies, Himachal Pradesh University,
M.S. Poonia, Copyright in the musical work, CBI Bulletin October 1999, State Coordinator, Indian Music Industry, Jaipur.
Oxford English Dictionary
P.Narayan, Copyright and industrial Designs, 2nd edition
Sawkins v. Hyperion Records Ltd (2005) EWCA Civ 565
Section 2(p) of copyright act, defines musical work: musical work means a work consisting of music and includes any graphical notation of such work but does not include any words or any action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with the music.
Sen Soumik, Remix and match, 17 May 2003,
Stir over Indias raunchy remixes by Chadha, Monica, BBC correspondent in Mumbai, http:/ Asia/3128719.stm
Veerendera Tuljapurkar, Remix and Copyright Law, Journal of intellectual Property Rights vol 10, March 2005
Websters collegiate Dictionary
William Hill (Football) v. Ladbrook (Football) (1980) RPC 539 at 546 (CA LORD Denning, MR)
Wood v. Boosey [1868] LR 3 QB 223; [1867] LR 2 QB 340.

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